Our last stop on our 10-day trip to Europe was Ireland! We did stay in Dublin, but traveled around other parts of Ireland so I’m not just talking a specific spot.
We landed in Dublin, Ireland at around 2PM. Within Europe we flew RyanAir, which is like Spirit Airlines here in the U.S. It’s a cheap, uncomfortable flight, but gets you where you need to go! PRO TIP: When flying Ryan Air, make sure you take the right size bags. Measure all your bags before heading out to London. Also, be sure to print your boarding pass online ahead of time. They’ll charge you for doing it at the airport.
After collecting our bag, we purchased a Leap Visitor pass at the airport. This pass cost us €19 each and included unlimited transportation throughout the city for 72 hours (this included transportation to and from the airport). We were free to take the bus, tram or train. There is a €12 ticket that you can purchase just for roundtrip airport transportation, but the Leap Visitor makes more sense if you’re staying in Dublin for three days.
The ride from the airport to the hotel was about 30 minutes. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, located right next to the river and not too far from the famous Temple Bar.
Since we had to be up early the next day for our Cliffs of Moher tour, we decided to take it easy on the first night. Plus, not many places were open past 5PM anyway.
We decided just to walk around Dublin at night and grab some dinner. Dustin found a restaurant called The Boxty House.
Are you ready to hear about the best meal we had throughout our entire time in Europe? I don’t think you’re ready.
When we arrived, it was just in time for their 2 Course Early Bird Special. They have a meal special that runs Monday-Sunday from 11AM-6:30PM. Customers are able to order a starter and meal for €20. For my starter I ordered a Cauliflower Pate with a chilled cucumber sauce and sweet potato mash, Dustin ordered a Leek and Potato Soup served with soda bread. I absolutely loved my pate. The cauliflower was fried and the batter was seasoned with perfection. The sauce and mash paired wonderfully with the cauliflower. The potatoes were chilled, but still had such a ripe taste to them. Dustin really enjoyed his soup. He’s already a huge fan of split pea soup and he stated that the potatoes added a necessary kick to it.
For my entree I ordered Chicken in a Smoked Bacon and Leek Sauce wrapped in a Boxty Pancake, Dustin ordered Steak with Leek Sauce wrapped in a Boxty Pancake. Oh my goodness, the dishes were exquisite. It was a meal that wasn’t like anything either of us had ever had before. The potato pancakes tasted incredible with the perfectly cooked chicken and the creamy sauce. I made sure to savor every single bite because it was just so dang good. The potatoes in mine were also delicious, Ireland definitely has great potatoes, I can now attest to this. Before Dustin even finished his dish he stated that this was his favorite meal from the entire trip. He repeated this statement on our back to the states.
We were up bright and early at 5AM to be on time for our full-day Cliffs of Moher tour.
The tour lasts an entire day, starting at 6:30AM and ending at 8PM. Tickets for each person were $62.47 and can be purchased online here: https://www.getyourguide.com/dublin-l31/cliffs-of-moher-full-day-tour-from-dublin-t91047/.
The tour departed from Dublin and takes visitors on an exciting trip through some of the coast of Ireland. Our tour guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the history of Ireland. He almost spoke through the entirety of the tour, besides the points where he gave us time to rest our eyes.
I really enjoyed every minute of the tour, some people could’ve done without so much background information, but I loved it. We got to see some beautiful and unique parts of Ireland, including the city of Galway and Kilmacduagh Monastery. In all, the tour was incredible and I definitely recommend to do this one when you’re in town. It is a full day so be prepared to be busy until late at night.
Before hitting the hay, Dustin and I went to go eat at the Old Mill Restaurant, where we had another fantastic meal. Dustin ordered a Shepard’s Pie and I ordered Fish ‘n Chips. My dish was amazing, I enjoyed these fish ‘n chips WAY more than the ones I had in London. The fish was flaky and fresh, with such tasty batter. The chips were so good, this definitely had to do with the fact that Ireland has great potatoes. This was another dish that I took my time eating because of how good it was. Dustin really loved his dish, stating it was another favorite of his. The beef was great and broke a part easily. He also stated that the potatoes were one of his favorite parts of the dish.
Our last day in Dublin we tried to fit as much as we could. Honestly, we wished we could’ve spent another day here than in Rome. There was just so much more to see and do in this bustling city.
We started out visiting St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a very famous and important Cathedral in Dublin. To enter you must pay, it is not free. Here they had a student discount which equaled out to €7. The Cathedral was massive and quite impressive. You can pick up a guide book that will take you through the history of the Cathedral and some prominent facts you need to know.
After spending about an hour in the Cathedral, we visited the Guinness Storehouse…but didn’t go inside. We just wanted to see what it looked like and get some photos out front, but people informed us that the tour wasn’t worth the money.
Lastly we hit up the Jameson Distillery. The entrance fee for the tour of the distillery, which was a student price, was €18. The ticket included the tour, a whiskey tasting, and a complimentary mixed drink. This tour was awesome. Our tour guide was incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the history of Jameson Whiskey. It’s a very interactive way to learn about how their whiskey in distilled and the unique flavors of the whiskey. The whiskey tasting was also interesting because you got to compare Jameson to both Scottish and American whiskey.
You finish off the tour with a complimentary mixed drink that just warms your insides.
Our last meal was at the Storehouse in Temple Bar. Storehouse is a busy three-story bar that houses live music. It is definitely a place to get that classic, pub feel. For my last meal I decided to be old and order and Irish Casserole. The casserole was good, but it contained mushrooms (which I’m not the biggest fan of). I absolutely loved the mashed potatoes, but that’s about it. Dustin ended up finishing some of my dish and really enjoyed it. If you’re okay with mushrooms and a beef stew, type dish, I would recommend it. The dish wasn’t bad, just wasn’t for me.
That is a WRAP. Our 10-day Europe trip will definitely be one I remember forever. I loved going around Christmas time because we got to see all the beautiful Christmas decorations throughout the different countries. It also was off-season so the crowds weren’t as large as they usually were.
Thank you for joining me on my adventure and stayed tuned for more content in the coming year!